China Reveals New Russian Jets Flying Over Pacific

© Provided by IBT Media China has for the first time revealed that its new fleet of advanced, Russia-built jets have flown over the South China Sea, where the U.S. has contested Beijing's vast territorial claims and construction of artificial, militarized islands.

The Chinese air force said in a statement Wednesday that it recently deployed Sukhoi Su-35s to carry out a joint patrol over the South China Sea. While the release did not include the size, date or location of the patrol, it said the aircraft's "participation in combat exercises will help strengthen the air force's long-range operational capability" and that the air force "the air force will continue pushing forward training to improve combat capabilities," the official Chinese Military Online reported Thursday.

Senior China Arms Control and Disarmament Association adviser and retired People's Liberation Army (PLA) Major General Xu Guangyu, however, told ruling Chinese Communist Party organ The Global Times that "the appearance of advanced PLA fighter jets, capable of attacking surface combat vessels in this region is sort of a reaction to the provocation by the U.S."

© Provided by IBT Media The vast South China Sea has become a theatre for competing interests in the Asia-Pacific. China has laid claim to a large portion of the waters that also border Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. China has threatened its rival government in Taiwan with new air routes and an aircraft carrier and has b....

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